Damascus Quiet as Assad’s Death Raises Difficult Questions

Published June 10th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

By: Nabil Al Mulhem 

Damascus – Albawaba.com 

 

Grief and suspense mingled with voices of prayers from minarets in Damascus as Syria mourned the death of its leader for 30 years, president Hafez Assad.. 

His death at the age of 69 left many in a state of shock refusing to believe the news though it was announced on the Syrian state television. 

Sources in Damascus said Assad’s death happened at noon and followed deterioration of his health in recent months, which was kept secret even from those close to him. 

Shortly after the announcement of his death, Syrians took to the streets of quiet Damascus, many of whom refusing to believe that their leader for years has died, and did not even had the courage to convey the news to relatives or friends on the phone. 

Questions were raised hours after Assad’s death about the timing of his demise and the political situation in the country while many believed that a state of emergency would be declared.  

But nothing happened. 

Army units remained in their barracks but in a state of alert as life went on as usual with no signs that chaos might erupt. 

Several military sources told Albawaba that the army was fully assured of the situation in the country and that it will continue to maintain the duties it has been carrying out within its barracks during the reign of the late Assad.  

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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